Thanks for joining me on my artistic journey, which is nothing new for me.
My artistic journey all began at the age of two with a simple box of 16 thick Crayola crayons that my mom gave me.
I was immediately fascinated with the purple crayon. Purple was the only color I wanted to use. My parents told me I would fill up page after page with purple scribbles, & try as they might, they could never get me to use another color. Hence was born my lifelong tremendous love for the color purple, specifically royal purple, although I love all shades of purple.
I created my first work of art at the ripe old age of 3. I was left unattended for a few moments so I naturally got up to mischief. I took out my beloved purple crayon & headed straight for the dining room wall. For the next 34 years my “Potato Family” graced that wall. It consisted of 3 blobs with 4 sticks protruding from each that represented their arms and legs. It was a portrait of my parents & I. Dad repainted the dining room at least four times that I can recall, but he never covered up my “Potato Family.” Upon selling the house 34 years later my little masterpiece was finally hidden for all time under a fresh coat of paint, but by that time I was working on creating my very first card deck that was to become the multi-award-winning Egyptian Lenormand.
I think I was 5 when Mom first read Harold & the Purple Crayon to me. All I could think was that YES! Purple IS magic! I had always known this to be true. I prayed for my drawings to come to life, but they never did.
I got into big trouble in kindergarten when I insisted on coloring in a page of goldfish all purple. I can still remember Mrs. Cook standing over me saying in a stern voice, “goldfish are NOT purple!” On that day I received my first scolding from a teacher. I went home & cried. Of course I told my mom who went to the school the very next day & raised holy hell. From that point onward Mrs. Cook allowed me to color in EVERYTHING purple, so my purple obsession was allowed to continue.
Harold & the Purple Crayon remained my favorite book for years. I think I read it for the last time when I was in the fourth grade. I was 9, another pivotal year for me (see below). Despite my purple drawings never coming to life for me, that book encouraged me to dream, & I always dreamed big.
It wasn’t until 1999 when I ran across Lisa Hunt’s The Celtic Dragon Tarot that I realized artists created tarot decks in various styles. I am a self-taught tarot card reader & I began readings cards in 1976 when I was 14. I actually found my first deck in the kitchen trash. Mom was frustrated so she threw her deck out & when I asked if I could have it she told me, “knock yourself out,” so I did and within 2 months I was reading her cards for her, as well as for my friends. I can still recall the first time I looked through the images of The Celtic Dragon Tarot. My first thought was, “one day I’ll create my own tarot deck & it’s going to win some awards.” At the time I had no idea if such works received awards or not.It was at this time my love of collecting tarot decks began. I currently own over 300 decks.
Fast forward to 2012.
I had been studying how to read Lenormand cards since 2009, a few months after my mother had passed away. They were a nice distraction from the depression that had set in since they gave me something to focus on other than my dad’s descent into dementia as a result of Parkinson’s Disease & the difficulty of caring for him. Dad passed in September of that year & I found solace in my new-found fascination with reading Lenormand cards.
At that time there weren’t very many Lenormand decks to choose from, unlike tarot and oracle decks, both of which have always been much more popular and better known than Lenormand cards. I belonged to a very large Lenormand group on Facebook and eventually some of the more artsy members began to create & self-publish their own Lenormand decks & they placed limited numbers of decks up for sale on the internet.
A light bulb turned on.
I love the ancient Egyptian culture, civilization, and their spirituality. I had become fascinated at the age of 9 when I saw The Mummy starring Boris Karloff for the first time, which inspired me to go to college in order to study Archaeology. I hold a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin with my specialty being the iconography (art) and epigraphy (hieroglyphics) of the Classic Maya civilization. I realized when people began to self-publish their own Lenormand decks in styles that appealed to them that I could do the same. Naturally, I wished I owned an Egyptian themed Lenormand deck.
I self-published The Egyptian Lenormand in 2012 and Schiffer Books mass published it in 2015. The self-published edition of 100 copies sold out in a few months. The Schiffer edition is still available at Schiffer’s website, Amazon & other online book sellers, although I offer the deck myself for sale signed & fully activated for use in magical manifestation & healing work – which makes my deck unique among Lenormand decks. The Egyptian Lenormand went on to win three awards that you can read about in the “About” section.
I have since also self-published The Turtle Lenormand (2015), which I created simply because I dearly love turtles. I self-published my first oracle deck, Guidance & Inspiration From the Angelic Realm (GIFAR) in 2017, which is a huge departure from my style as the cards are not images, but a hand-created & hand-written font of channeled messages of guidance & encouragement.
Here we are in 2018 and currently I am working on two Lenormand decks, two tarot decks, & 2 or perhaps even 3 oracle decks! I am a quadruple Gemini (sun, moon, Venus & Mercury all partying in Gemini for me) so I get tired of the same old thing easily. I prefer to work on a number of projects so as my interest wanes on one I can skip to the other so my projects always hold my interest and no one project languishes for too long. On the down side it does take me quite a while to complete anything. My next deck, which I hope to have completed by January of 2019, will be a Lenormand in honor of my Mexican & Spanish ancestors that I am creating with gouache paint and oil pastels. It’s an odd mix of artistic mediums, but it seems to be working out quite well.
If you’d like to keep up with my creations, both regarding forthcoming card decks as well as individual works of watercolor, colored pencil, visionary art, florals, & galaxy paintings I invite you to follow this blog. You may also wish to follow me on Instagram as well. I’m there as @NeferKhepriArt.